By Dakota Parks for Northwest Florida's Business Climate
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted nearly every facet of our lives, including a revisioning of the future landscape of commercial office spaces. According to a recent study conducted by Upwork, one in four Americans will work remotely in 2021 and by 2025, an estimated 36.2 million Americans will work remote, which is an 87 percent increase from pre-pandemic levels. While some remote workers enjoy the flexibility to work from the kitchen counter, save money on childcare and choose their own hours with the addition of a mid-day siesta or trip to the gym, others miss the socialization and daily routine that often comes with working in a traditional office space. As workers adjust to the new normal, commercial real estate has witnessed an uptick in co-op offices, or coworking spaces, where a diverse group of remote workers, freelancers and independent professionals work together in a shared, communal setting on either a membership basis or hourly rental.
Whether you’re looking to rent a desk or book a conference room, coworking spaces give entrepreneurs a place to bring prospective clients and often serve as a safety net for business start-ups with little or no overhead cost to establish a home office. Many coworking spaces, in turn, act as business incubators by providing the workspace, facilitating networking and some even providing mentoring and management training. Many workers thrive in these collaborative spaces, where you can choose to work alone or share a long communal table with people from diverse industries. Prior to the pandemic, coworking spaces were the fastest-growing type of office space in commercial real estate. While they currently comprise less than five percent of the market, they’re expected to make up 30 percent by 2030, according to the real estate company JLL. Business Climate has gathered some of Pensacola’s best coworking spaces and production studios open to new membership and rental opportunities for business professionals, artists, producers and videographers alike.
13 SOUTH PALAFOX PLACE
Situated in the heart of downtown in the mixed-use Brent building at One Palafox Place, Cowork @nnex offers flexible plans from day passes to your own private office. This 10,000 sqft bustling business ecosystem with industrial loft aesthetics consists of an open common area, available on a daily first come, first serve basis to all members, dedicated desks for permanent workstations and fully furnished private offices available with 24/7 access. Day passes are $20/day and week passes are $75/week during regular business hours of 8am-5pm. Other membership plans include the workweek membership for $150/month during regular business hours; the flex desk membership for $200/month with 24/7 access and open desk seating; dedicated desk membership for $300/month with 24/7 access; and private offices ranging from $500-1,300/month. Members have access to six meeting rooms of various sizes, a communal kitchen with free coffee and water, copiers and printers and lockers to store personal items.
THE SPRING PENSACOLA
220 WEST GARDEN STREET
Located on the first floor of the Studer Community Institute Building downtown, The Spring’s coworking space, set to open in June 2021, serves as the open door to the entrepreneurial hub that exists to empower, connect and grow small businesses in the Pensacola area. This elegantly designed and modern furnished office space is perfect to work independently, network with other professionals or meet to collaborate on a project. Here, members will not only have 24/7 access to an innovative and creative coworking space with flexible, shared desks and amenities like parking, communal kitchen, private phone booths, access to community job board, priority access to the SCI Community room with a 100-person occupancy, but they will also have access to monthly networking events, exclusive discounts for business training and mentorship resources to allow start-up businesses to flourish. The regular membership is $249/month for unlimited access; after-hours membership includes access before 8am and after 4pm for $129/month; and digital membership for $49/month includes access to entrepreneurial training and networking events and discounted access to conference room spaces.
3500 BARRANCAS AVENUE
Another new space in Pensacola, Jetty IoT is a hybrid coworking space and business incubator focused on accelerating and supporting growth-stage entrepreneurs in the many facets of the tech field including but not limited to IoT, software and app design, marine technology, sensor-based technology and SaaS (software as a service) companies. At Jetty, members get access to a private or shared workspace, professional network, essential technology and the IoT Entrepreneurial Center to connect ideas, resources and people together. Private Dedicated Workstation membership is $400/month and includes a sit/stand desk with an ergonomic chair, complimentary executive conference room useage, free coffee and parking, 3D printing usage and multimedia room, access to hardware development space and many more amenities. Private offices range from $550-$1,100/month and include bundle rates for additional members and full access to all amenities at Jetty.
225 NORTH PACE BOULEVARD
Tucked into a fully-remodeled building from 1961, this modern industrial office space is complete with polished concrete floors, modern furniture and natural light to fuel a cozy atmosphere. Workspace225 offers a variety of memberships from virtual office clients to private meeting space to accommodate up to 25 people, regular members and private office suites. Members can kick back in the indoor lounge, get some food at the rooftop food market with beer and fresh juices and enjoy amenities like bike storage, mail forwarding, printing, scanning and notary services. Membership is $150/month in the open area seating and includes use of customer lounge access, phone booth, white boards and all the amenities needed for a productive workday. Meeting rooms can be booked for hourly, half-day or full day rentals between $35- $75/hour. Members looking for a permanent work space can choose between a furnished 1–4 person private suite or cubicle for $500+ a month. Although fully booked currently, Workspace225 anticipates availability by mid-summer for new members.
3695 NORTH L STREET
As a flexible office space, Pensacola Socialdesk offers personal and group workspaces, conferencing facilities that include audio and video teleconferencing, team huddle rooms and a multipurpose classroom that can hold up to 65 comfortably. Designed for both comfort and productivity, workers can enjoy free espresso and coffee from the espresso bar, take care of printing and faxing needs in the business center, relax on the outdoor patio, play a game of ping pong or take a quick nap on a couch in the relaxation room. At Socialdesk, there are rentals options for non-members starting at $35/ hour for an 8-10-person meeting room and $45/hour for the executive conference room that seats 10-12 people. For limited use members that just need a few hours away from home a month, the open seating limited membership includes eight hours a month for $45. Dedicated desk members can rent their very own space for $250/month with unlimited visits during business hours, while open desk members can enjoy seating at the communal 20-person counter top desk or library style desks around the office for $150/month.
1008 NORTH NAVY BOULEVARD
Built inside of a Quonset hut aviation hangar, once used as a Naval warehouse, makeshift movie theatre and military surplus store, Hellcat Hangar is Pensacola’s newest multimedia production studio space. Father and son duo David and Ben Van Der Like of Hellcat Productions founded the new studio when they began to run out of space in their studio downtown and wanted to create a network of individuals centered around the production of arts and media. Hellcat Hangar operates as a venue, community event center and a production studio. Guests can livestream high-quality video, capture the perfect snapshots in the studio dedicated to photography needs and have access to all-inclusive tech equipment like high-resolution 4k DCI digital video cameras, green screens, boom/shotgun microphones and dressing rooms. Prices range between studios and includes Studio 1 for $100/hour; studio 3 for $200/hour and the full hangar for $400/hour. For those looking for consistent studio time, memberships are available by contacting Hellcat Hangar for more details.
LONG HOLLOW CREATIVES
700 NORTH GUILLEMARD STREET
This boutique coworking space, production studio and event center combines industrial aesthetics with splashes of modern design and a lush green courtyard for members to enjoy a breath of fresh air during the workday. At Long Hollow Creatives, guests can rent the 8-person conference room for $50/hour, the production studio for photography and video production starting at $150 for two hours and event spaces in the loft and courtyard for a variety of price points. The small and niche coworking space at Long Hollow offers a limited number of members on a 6-month contract for $400/ month. Here, members get access to a dedicated, handcrafted desk on the ground floor, access daily 6am-8pm, free parking, 20 percent off studio rental and conference room access for 4/hours a month.